Canada and the WCL

28 September 2005 There is a new job posting on the CCA website with a link to the ICC website declaring Canada is seeking a fulltime coach. (The announcement is dated September 30, 2005). Possibly the most unrealistic thing is the applicants are supposed to reply by October 7, 2005. Therefore the deadline of October 7 almost implies there is a favoured candidate sitting around.

Today's job posting on the ICC web site, for the new Canadian National Coach, mentions the "World Cricket League". The ICC World Cricket League (WCL) is announced on page 8 of the latest ICC Cricket Quarterly, (which can be down loaded). This is quite good to see as it gives a clearer picture of the way forward for the Associate and Affiliate Members for one-day cricket internationals.

From a local perspective, due to Canada's placing at the 2005 ICC Trophy, the national team automatically qualifies for Division 1 of the WCL in 2007, (6 team division), and for the ICC World Cup qualifier (12 teams) in 2009.

There is a Division Two of six teams in 2007. UAE, Namibia, Denmark and Oman are assigned to this division. Our neighbours, the USA, must challenge from Division Three in 2007, as a direct consequence of their internal administrative squables.

There were indications of some form of contests between the leading associate members around the time of this year's ICC Trophy. Giving the matches One-Day International (ODI) status was mentioned. Now some clarity emerges; "All matches in the ICC World Cricket League Divison One will have One-Day International status." There is mention of having the top six affiliates arranging games with the Full Member countries.

The top six affiliates are deemed to be: Kenya, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Bermuda and Holland. Coincident with this issue of ICC Cricket Quarterly is a ranking from 11 to 30 of the main Associate Members.

For the lower ranked associates and affiliates there will be qualifying matches in 2006 and 2008 in order to reach the Division 3 level in 2007 and 2009 respectively. The first and second teams from Division Three will advance to WCL Division Two (2007 matches) and the World Cup Qualifier (2009 matches). The regional qualifying rounds will take place for Europe, Asia, Africa, Americas and East Asia-Pacific.

From a Canadian perspective, this is good news. It gives a clear base for planning the next four years.

The first-class status ICC Intercontinental Cup will continue. Basically the WCL and qualifying matches allow teams to rise through the ranks on merit. Kenya have basically had their previous 'permanent ODI' rank removed, and in later years will have to stay in the top six to preserve their previous privilege.

As this event gains broader publicity, expect someone to comment on how Kenya are currently above Bangladesh in the ICC ODI standings! Ah well.

Eddie Norfolk (with files from Jon Harris).